Author Archives: Thomas Ruttig

About Thomas Ruttig

2010 Elections 2: Political Parties at the Fringes Again

Only five of Afghanistan’s 110 political parties have finally had the chance to field candidates in the upcoming parliamentary election under their party logo. Another 31 parties had candidates on a preliminary candidates’ list but later withdrew the party affiliation. Many political scientists would say parties are a key requirement for a functioning democracy, yet […]

Talking Dari (1): The Road to Turkestan

Today, we continue our little series with important Afghan-language expressions that are useful to describe political situations in striking accuracy. This time we turn to one of the most famous Iranian poets – so actually we also could say ‘Talking Farsi’ here. But let’s not be too nitty-gritty. ترسم نرسی به کعبه ای اعرابی کین ره […]

A Wikileaks Leak and Human Rights Matters

A series of emails sent to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange by human rights groups from or based in Afghanistan has been leaked to the media. The groups ‘called on the whistleblower website to expunge the names of Afghans mentioned in the war logs because of fears that they could be targeted by insurgents’. AAN’s co-director […]

Wikileaks, Strategic Communications and (Im-)Plausible Denials

Wikileaks, with its publication of some 75,000 classified US military documents on the war in Afghanistan on Sunday, has brilliantly made use of the summer slump. Instead of escaped crocodiles at lakes popular with swimmers (a favourite of the German media in former years) or silly ideas of backbenchers, we have been given the chance […]

Talking Pashto (1): One-Liner of the Week

Today, we start a little series with important Pashto expressions for field use. It is meant to complement the electronic translation computers handed out to the international forces which – reportedly – contain useful phrases like: “Lasuna porta!” (Hands up!), “Mulla Omar cheri dey?” (Where is Mulla Omar?) and “Hawayi maidan kum taraf dey?” (Which […]

Talking Haqqani

‘Totally baseless, a lie and no truth in it’. This is what an Afghan presidential spokesman said after a not-too-unimportant TV station reported contacts between Kabul and the Haqqani network, the most ruthless outfit of the Afghan insurgency. Is there no fire at all for all the smoke? asks Thomas Ruttig. It all started with […]

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